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Schoolhouse to library: Elm Creek building was a one-room school until 1955
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Schoolhouse to library: Elm Creek building was a one-room school until 1955

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ELM CREEK — A library full of endless treasures and thick in history lies in Elm Creek.

Elm Creek Public Library was converted to the library from 1954-1955.

“It was a one-room schoolhouse that was moved in here,” Elm Creek Librarian Jane Walker said. “The people in the community wanted something, and everybody donated a bunch of books to start out with.”

In 1922, the Elm Creek Woman’s Club started the Elm Creek Public Library at another Elm Creek location, the Rishel Building.

According to a book compiled by the Elm Creek History Book Committee for print in 1987, the Woman’s Club had book parties that usually featured plant sales, bake sales and coffee.

After many relocations of the library over the years, a permanent home was eventually made in 1955 in the former school house. In 1954, the village of Elm Creek purchased the Phelps County District 52 schoolhouse for $1,750. An Elm Creek resident donated land at Tyler Street and Calkins Avenue for its final destination.

As the library became more popular, an addition was built in 1982 to provide room for more books.

Walker, the librarian since 1988, said she enjoys seeing the community come together to spread the love of reading.

“I get to see all the new books that come in, and I get to work with all the kids,” Walker said.

Some of the special things the Elm Creek Library offers today are free Wi-Fi, summer reading programs and book sales.

erika.pritchard@kearneyhub.com

@erikadpritchard

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